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What Cost Information Helps Patients in a TV Ad? We Asked Them

By Scott White, Company Group Chairman, North America Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson on 2/7/2019

Consumers deserve a clearer picture of what they can expect to pay at the pharmacy. At Janssen, we have long been a leader in transparency. When the current Administration’s American Patients First Blueprint issued in May of last year proposed including list price information in direct-to-consumer TV ads, we saw an opportunity to envision – and implement – additional transparency that would enable patients to make more informed decisions.

That’s why, later this quarter, we will begin including information about the cost of our medicines in pharmaceutical DTC TV advertising, starting with our most frequently prescribed medicine, an oral anti-coagulant. We will include both the list price and potential patient out-of-pocket costs.

We spoke with many consumers and patients to understand what pricing information would be most relevant to them. Their input not only shaped how we responded to the Administration’s DTC TV advertising proposal, it also suggested a common-sense path forward that we believe will give patients clearer, and more valuable, information about the cost of the medicines we advertise on TV.

As we begin to introduce cost information into our DTC TV ads, we will be thoughtful and patient-focused in our approach, communicating both list price and out-of-pocket cost information in ways that enable patients and consumers to understand this information easily. We’re starting with our most widely prescribed medicine so we can assess how the price and cost information is received by a broad range of people. We will take into account patient and consumer feedback in guiding roll-out to additional medicines we advertise on TV.

Our approach to DTC TV ads builds on our strong support for PhRMA’s revised advertising principles. In accordance with these principles, member companies will direct patients to online information about the costs of medicines advertised on television. An important self-imposed industry standard, the principles reflect PhRMA member companies’ commitment to more transparency about medicine costs. Importantly, the principles recognize that being transparent about list price alone is not enough.

Transparency is fundamental to achieving a more sustainable, results-based health system that delivers greater access to care at a more manageable cost. Later this quarter, we’ll provide more up-to-date information about our responsible business practices that put patients first, including how we invest our resources, price our medicines, and help people who need Janssen medicines get access to them, in our third annual Janssen U.S. Transparency Report.

In taking this step today, we are continuing our legacy of leadership in transparency by voluntarily sharing meaningful, relevant information about what people can expect to pay for their medicines in our DTC TV advertising.